PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY
Subject of Possible Rule Making: Adopting rules to implement ESSB 5373, section 1, chapter 146, Laws of 2007, relating to treatment of overpayments when an unemployment claim becomes invalid due to an employer's failure to report, or misreporting of, hours worked; and section 7, relating to fraud committed by a claimant.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 50.12.010, 50.12.040, and 50.20.010.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: ESSB 5373, section 1, amended RCW 50.12.070 concerning benefits paid to a claimant prior to a claim becoming invalid due to misreported hours. The rules will clarify how overpayments assessed prior to the claim becoming invalid will be treated. Section 7 amended RCW 50.20.070 concerning benefits paid as a result of fraud by increasing the denial period and adding penalties to subsequent instances of fraud. The rules will define the elements of fraud; clarify the conditions applying to a first, second, or third and subsequent instance of fraud; clarify that interest accrues on both the fraud principal and penalty; clarify the methods by which overpayments may be collected by the department; establish the priority in which cash payments will be applied; and related issues.
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: The United States Department of Labor (USDOL) reviews the state's administration of the unemployment insurance program to ensure conformity to federal statutes and regulations. The state has broad flexibility in the implementation of unemployment insurance laws as long as conformity is maintained. The proposed regulations will be shared with USDOL prior to adoption.
Process for Developing New Rule: The department intends to hold meetings with the interested public to obtain input on the proposed rule making.
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Juanita Myers, Unemployment Insurance Rules Coordinator, Employment Security Department, P.O. Box 9046, Olympia, WA 98507-9046, phone (360) 902-9665, fax (360) 902-9799, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
May 22, 2007